Producer responsibility reforms

A deposit return scheme (DRS) alone will not stop the blight of litter in our towns, countryside, rivers and oceans. Any intervention to reduce littering and increase recycling collection must also lead to more recycling and reprocessing being conducted in the UK, to create more high-quality material that can be re-used in new products.

For us, that means any DRS must be accompanied by reform of the producer responsibility system for packaging. The current Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) is meant to see contributions from manufacturers reinvested in recycling in the UK. However, the design and opaque nature of the system means that often this investment is not accounted for. Funding must be directed towards increasing UK recycling capacity and infrastructure.

Government needs to ensure that companies operating within a DRS are not unfairly made to pay twice through other producer responsibility or tax schemes. By funding a DRS, manufacturers are investing in a closed-loop system along with the infrastructure that supports this. Any other scheme would see them paying the costs for other companies’ obligations.